Adam Putnam is Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture. In this role, he oversees the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and serves as a member of the Cabinet, alongside the Governor, Attorney General and Chief Financial Officer. Adam was elected by an overwhelming majority in a statewide vote on November 2, 2010, and sworn in to a four-year term on January 3, 2011.
As Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam is focused on fostering economic prosperity, increasing access to locally-grown products, expanding the production of energy and addressing the challenges that face the state’s water supply.
During his short tenure, efforts to promote Florida agricultural products resulted in nearly $150 million in increased cash receipts, $20 million in tax revenues and 5,000 jobs for Floridians.
Adam worked with members of the Florida Legislature to transfer the state’s school food and nutrition programs to the department. Under his leadership, schools are serving healthier menus to Florida’s students, including more locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
In 2012, based on Adam’s proposals to diversify the state’s energy portfolio, the Florida Legislature passed the first comprehensive energy bill in four years. In addition to increased diversity in energy supply, Florida will also benefit from expanded energy production and economic growth. This modest legislation puts Florida back on the right track toward securing a stable, reliable and diverse supply of energy.
To counter the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overregulation of Florida’s water supply, Adam fought for Florida’s right to establish its own water standards. The EPA’s numeric nutrient criteria were inconsistent with its own guidance documents and would have cost Floridians billions to implement. In February 2012, a U.S. District Court confirmed that the EPA’s criteria are not based on sound science, overly restrictive and unnecessary to protect Florida’s water bodies.
Prior to being elected Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam was a strong, conservative voice in the U.S. Congress and the Florida House of Representatives.
Adam served ten years as a U.S. Congressman, representing the 12th district of Florida. He was elected by his peers to represent all Republican members of the House of Representatives as Chairman of the House Republican Conference, the third highest ranking position in Congress and the highest level position held by any Floridian in Congress. In this role, he championed legislation that would promote economic prosperity by reducing taxes and growing businesses. Throughout his Congressional career, Adam has been recognized as a leader on a variety of issues, most notably agriculture, food safety, childhood nutrition, energy and government efficiency.
Adam played an integral role in the development of the 2008 farm bill and led the effort to provide disaster assistance to impacted agriculture in Florida after the 2004 hurricane season. Adam introduced one of the first major bipartisan food safety reform bills, earning recognition for his leadership from both sides of the political aisle.
Before joining Congress, Adam served as member of the Florida House of Representatives, first elected at the age of 22. Adam was appointed Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, where he led on the many issues facing Florida’s dynamic agriculture industry including property rights, water and the Everglades.
Though Adam has held various titles during his career, his friends and family know Adam as a Floridian first. His knowledge of and love for the state of Florida explain why he has dedicated his life to public service.
Adam is a fifth generation cattle rancher and citrus grower from Polk County. He is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Resource Economics.
Adam considers his most important titles to be husband and father. He lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children in Bartow.